O'Connell leads Ireland into battle

Thu, 14 Nov 2013 14:01
John-plumtree-_-paul-o_conn Jonny-sexton-ireland-kicks Seano_brienengland
Sexton back at flyhalf

Vastly experienced lock Paul O'Connell will lead Ireland against Australia in Dublin this Saturday.

O'Connell is joined in the engine room by Devin Toner with Cian Healy while Sean O'Brien starts at openside flank in the absence of the injured Chris Henry.

Brian O'Driscoll earns his 127th cap since his Test debut against Australia in 1999 and will be partnered in midfield by Luke Marshall.

Johnny Sexton returns to the flyhalf berth and is reunited with his former provincial halfback partner Eoin Reddan.

There are 10 2013 British and Irish Lions involved in the matchday squad: Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, O'Driscoll, Sexton, Conor Murray, Jamie Heaslip, O'Brien, O'Connell, Rory Best and Healy. Eleven of the Ireland XV started in the 2011 World Cup victory over Australia at Eden Park, New Zealand.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Fergus McFadden, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (captain), 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Mike McCarthy, 20 Kevin McLaughlin, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Rob Henshaw.

Date: Saturday, November 16
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 17.45 (17.45 GMT; 04.45, Sunday, November 17 AEDT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England)